Students in the best online Ph.D. in Business Analytics Intelligence programs are ambitious individuals setting their sights on excellent career opportunities in academia, the business world, and public service, as well as the private and nonprofit sectors.
Due to the difficulty of earning a Ph.D. degree, interested individuals must be well-informed of its challenges – the high admission standards, the rigorous academic and research curriculum, and the financial costs, among others. Here, we take a brief look at these aspects of business intelligence online Ph.D. programs.
The best online Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence are research-centric doctoral programs that prepare their candidates for successful careers in academia, business, and the public sector.
Candidates develop their technical and transferable skills that include data analytics, information systems, and management theory and practices. Graduates are well-equipped for a wide range of careers, from business intelligence professionals in consulting firms to senior management positions like business intelligence director and chief data officer.
We must emphasize that online and hybrid Ph.D. in Business Analytics programs are uncommon, partly because the business intelligence and business analytics fields are relatively young disciplines. But there are online Ph.D. programs that are related to these twin disciplines with programs of study that can be aligned with either business analytics or business intelligence or both.
The doctoral programs featured here were chosen based on our criteria, including:
- Awarded as a Ph.D. in Business Intelligence & Analytics, and usually delivered in conjunction with related programs such as Data Science, Computer Science, or Technology Management,
- Delivered in an online or hybrid learning format that enables students to balance their personal and professional commitments,
- Features advanced-level courses in business intelligence and/or business analytics, developing the Ph.D. program student’s skills in analysis, critical thinking, and data interpretation,
- Characterized by academic rigor with an emphasis on research skills development and with experience faculty members leading the classes,
- May offer financial assistance and grant packages for qualified students and candidates,
- Offered by a regionally accredited institution.
See our Methodology page for our Business Intelligence and Analytics Ph.D. program ranking process.
5 Best Online Ph.D. in Business Intelligence & Analytics
Capitol Technology University
The Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Data Science program offered by Capitol Technology University enables candidates to engage in advanced scholarly research in business analytics and business intelligence. Their competitive edge lies in their ability to propose data-driven decisions in a wide variety of industries, from business and healthcare to information systems and cybersecurity.
- The Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Data Science program has a low-residency requirement that allows candidates to pursue their careers while earning the degree.
- Most of the courses in the Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Data Science program are conducted online and by working professionals in the areas of study. Courses include professional ethics, research methods, and dissertation preparation.
- Candidates earn 54-66 credits to earn the Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Data Science degree.
What Makes This Program Unique:
This is a unique Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Data Science program, mainly because it’s the only online program available with a dedicated focus on business analytics and intelligence. Candidates develop both high-level data-driven technical skills and transferable skills, including critical thinking and leadership skills, as well as research skills.
Did You Know?
The Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Data Science program has the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. Active-duty and retired military personnel get tuition discounts in the online doctorate program.
Candidates for the Ph.D. in Data Science degree at Northcentral University benefit from its industry-aligned curriculum, including knowledge of CRISP structures. With their real-world skills, graduates have a competitive edge that enables them to get the best jobs, including business intelligence professionals and data scientists.
- Candidates in the data science program are taught by credentialed business intelligence and analytics professionals with up-to-date technical knowledge and skills.
- Courses explore the diversity of topics in business intelligence and analytics, including strategic management of data, extensive data integration, and database management. There’s also an emphasis on critical analysis, data visualization, and reporting skills.
What Makes This Program Unique:
Candidates explore the stages in the data science life cycle and their theories and applications at every stage. Due to small class sizes, the professors are able to provide personalized attention to candidates. Northcentral University adopts a one-to-one learning model that also contributes to excellent student learning outcomes, including positive change leadership and effective innovation management.
Did You Know?
Candidates can successfully conquer the challenging dissertation process thanks to the Dissertation Boot Camp. Northcentral University also offers other Ph.D. programs for aspiring business intelligence professionals, such as the Ph.D. in Technology Management program.
University of Oklahoma
First established as an on-campus program in 2014, the hybrid Ph.D. in Data Science and Analytics program empowers students to develop advanced skills with practical applications in business intelligence and business analytics. Candidates learn the best practices and tools necessary to collect and analyze data that can be used to predict and improve future enterprise performance.
- Candidates must complete at least 90 credits to earn the Ph.D. in Data Science and Analytics degree.
- Up to 30 credits in previously earned credits from graduate work can be transferred with the approval of the doctoral committee.
- Students must pass the general exam and submit an approved doctoral research project.
What Makes This Program Unique:
Students in the Ph.D. in Data Science and Analytics program explore the theory and applications of data science and data analytics that can open doors of opportunities as business intelligence professionals. Their skill sets include research project development for industry and academia. Their courses include statistical analysis and data analysis, computing structures, and database management systems, which make their ability to apply data analysis among the best.
Did You Know?
Students must complete an in-residence requirement.
Candidates in the online Ph.D. in Data Science at National University train in the complex principles and practices of data science with applications in business intelligence and business analytics. Their training includes making data-driven decisions that drive business growth and other technical skills that the industry seeks in their practitioners.
- Candidates must complete the academic requirements for 60 credits to earn the doctorate degree in data science.
- There are 20 courses in the program, with each course running for eight weeks. The dissertation courses have a longer duration of 12 weeks.
- The estimated completion time is 40 months.
What Makes This Program Unique:
Graduates demonstrate the professional capacity to contribute to the existing body of knowledge in data science, explain the theories and applications of data science, and evaluate theories related to information systems. Candidates explore diverse topics related to business analytics and intelligence, including data analysis, extensive data integration, data mining, and predictive analytics. There’s even a dedicated course on databases and business intelligence.
Did You Know?
Candidates become well-versed in the data science life cycle from both theoretical and applied perspectives.
Indiana State University
Indiana State University’s Ph.D. in Technology Management program features online courses and an on-campus residency requirement. Graduates are well-equipped for business intelligence and analytics positions with their advanced skill sets in research, strategic management, and innovation management, among others.
- This is a 66-credit hour program with most of its courses at 600-level and above.
- Completion time is 4.5 years for part-time students and less for full-time students.
- Candidates must complete a residency period at the main campus
What Makes This Program Unique:
The Ph.D. in Technology Management program is offered as a consortium between Indiana State University and three other universities. Candidates can choose from several concentrations – Human Resources Development and Industrial Training, Construction Management, Manufacturing Systems, and Quality Systems, and Digital Communication Systems.
Did You Know?
Graduates become recognized experts in business intelligence and business analytics, as well as experts in the management of technology, innovation management, and in research.
What are Business Analytics and Intelligence?
In general, nonetheless, these terms are used as an umbrella term that covers the applications, tools, and best practices as well as the infrastructure that enable professionals to access, analyze data, and information and use them in optimizing business decisions and overall performance. For this reason, many business analytics and business intelligence online Ph.D. programs combine the two in their program titles.
On the one hand, business intelligence is defined as the use of data in the day-to-day operational management of organizations, mainly for-profit businesses. The tools used by business intelligence professionals are varied and ever-changing due to technological advancements. The most current are data mining and reporting software, analytical processing software, and business activity monitoring applications. Many tools used in business intelligence are also used in business analytics, such as statistical tools and predictive analysis.
Business intelligence professionals use these tools in collecting and analyzing data about current operations that can contribute to the creation of reliable and actionable information. The information, in turn, is valuable in making data-driven decisions in business administration, including sales, finance, and marketing.
On the other hand, business analytics has a more statistics focus, with data experts using a wide range of quantitative tools in the development of predictions and growth strategies. These quantitative tools include regression analysis, correlational analysis, forecasting analysis, factor analysis, image analytics, and text mining. Business professionals also use these predictive tools of business analytics for business intelligence purposes.
Think of business intelligence and business analytics in this way: Business intelligence is a backward-looking area of study, while business analytics is a forward-looking discipline. For example, while business intelligence analysts gather information on what current customers are like, business analytics professionals analyze data in creating a picture of future customers.
What’s in an Online Ph.D. Program in Business intelligence and Analytics?
Online degree programs offering a Ph.D. in Business Intelligence and Analytics, however, usually have comprehensive curriculums that cover big data-related and other relevant topics. While the courses and their descriptions and learning outcomes differ, the standard courses include the following:
- Data mining
- Data analytics
- Data structures
- Data visualization
- Supply chain management
- Management theory in a global economy
- Multivariate statistical analysis
- Advanced decision technologies, decision analysis, and programming technologies
- Information systems and their management
- Professional ethics
The courses are usually delivered in different learning formats, such as online synchronous and asynchronous classes and seminar formats. The didactic coursework may also consist of case studies that enable students of business intelligence and business analytics to gain useful insights into their real-world applications.
Due to their nature as doctoral programs, online Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence programs require students to meet these academic milestones:
- The comprehensive exam that signifies formal admission into Ph.D. candidacy
- The dissertation process with a series of courses that cover advanced research methods and, in most cases, a series of meetings with the dissertation committee
- The submission of an approved doctoral research project
Full-time students can complete their doctorate degree in 4-5 years, depending on their dissertation progress.
Earning a Ph.D. in business in any of its fields can be expensive, and it’s true for Ph.D. students in business intelligence and business analytics. The annual tuition can range between $24,000 and $35,000. Still, your actual cost of attendance will depend on your residency status, travel expenses for in-person sessions during the dissertation process, and other distance learning costs. Be sure to look for financial aid options, including graduate assistantships and grants.
Admission requirements vary between Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence programs, but the most common are:
- A master’s from a regionally accredited school
- Official transcripts with minimum GPA
- GRE or GMAT scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
Students in online Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence programs must possess core skills that will be developed while in the program. The best business intelligence and analytics professionals possess the following technical and transferable skills:
- SQL language
- Data analytics
- Programming languages like Python and R for analyzing big data sets
- Statistics and statistical software (e.g., SPSS, Sage, and Mathematica)
- Project management (e.g., PRINCE 2)
- Financial management
- Business intelligence platforms and tools
- Database management and information systems
- Communication, critical thinking, and analytical thinking skills
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills
- Visualization skills and a detail-oriented attitude combined with big-picture thinking
These related disciplines include big data analytics, data science, and business administration, with a concentration in operations management and information systems. Many Ph.D. in business analytics programs emphasize data science as the broader discipline, meaning business analytics is a subset of data science. Be sure to check out doctoral programs in management information systems, information technology and management, and technology management, too.
What to Expect from Earning an Online Ph.D. in Business Analytics & Intelligence Degree
Earning a Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence degree has its fair share of challenges, but your time and energy are well worth the rewards that come with it. You have a competitive advantage when applying for senior management positions. In short, your career advancement opportunities are better because of your Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence degree or another related degree!
Due to the research-focused curriculum of the best Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence program, you have the opportunity to contribute to the existing body of knowledge and to innovations in the field. You can also make lifelong personal and professional connections while in your selected Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence program. Your networking opportunities will lead to career advancement opportunities if you play your cards right.
Of course, you can establish the foundation of your reputation as an authoritative expert on matters related to business analytics and intelligence as well as in its related areas (e.g., data analysis).
The popular career path for graduates of Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence programs and related programs is to become business intelligence professionals. Their salaries are among the highest compensation in the business industry, too, with business intelligence analysts earning $85,280 in average annual salary. The salary range, however, is between $76,000 and $91,000+ depending on title, company, and industry.
Other career paths for Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence degree holders are management analysts ($93,000) and operations research analysts ($82,360). Figures in parenthesis are the median annual wages in May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job Opportunities and Outlook
Business intelligence professionals with an advanced degree in Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence, Data Science, or Technology Management can look forward to favorable job growth, too. The increase in demand for their expertise and services is attributed to the need among organizations for improved efficiency and performance – and this is where business analytics and intelligence come in. Even in the public sector, the demand for more effective and efficient operations research, supply chain management, and business practices is on the rise.
Graduates can also look forward to other job opportunities as financial analysts and data scientists. Indeed, the Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence, Data Science, and Technology Management degrees are versatile and, thus, worth every cent.
The favorable job growth for business intelligence professionals with a Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence, Data Science, or Technology Management degree range from 11% to 23% in the 2021-2031 period. There are about 101,900 openings every year for management analysts, for example.
Business intelligence professionals with a Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence, Data Science, or Technology Management degree use data modeling, data visualization, and data analysis techniques to examine market trends. Their findings are then used by management executives to make intelligent business decisions.
Business intelligence analysts and management analysts also communicate and collaborate with stakeholders, give presentations, and write informative reports to share helpful information. Operations research analysts perform quantitative research, including data collection, to gain helpful information about the issues being addressed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is prior work experience needed for admission into a Ph.D. in Business Intelligence online program?
Aside from a master’s degree and completion of prerequisites, applicants may be required to demonstrate relevant managerial experience.
Are Ph.D. in Business Analytics programs considered STEM programs?
Yes, these are considered STEM programs. Applicants must then be proficient in mathematics, including statistics, calculus, and linear algebra, as well as have a strong background in programming languages, data handling, and fundamental knowledge of enterprise data complexity.
- The online Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence programs are designed for ambitious individuals who want career advancement as business intelligence professionals in the public and private sectors. The salaries are competitive, and the job outlook is excellent, too.
- Look beyond online Ph.D. in Business Analytics and Intelligence programs, too, because there are multiple entry points for aspiring business intelligence professionals.